The League of Women Voters of Oklahoma came out today against the voter identification bill that legisaltors approved and is before Gov. Brad Henry.
The group opposes legislation requiring voters to present identification each time they go to the polls, said Gloria Caldwell, a League spokeswoman.
“We strongly urge Governor Henry to veto this legislation,” Caldwell said.
“If there were any evidence of voter impersonation in Oklahoma elections, the League of Women Voters would be first in line supporting this kind of legislation – but proponents cannot identify one single case of voter impersonation in Oklahoma elections,” she said. “Election boards have stringent protections in place to preserve the integrity of Oklahoma’s election system.”
Under SB 4, proof of identity could be established by showing a document containing a photograph of the voter that was issued by a state, federal or tribal government. It also would allow voters to cast a ballot if they showed their free voter identification card issued by their county election board.
Voters unable to show any proof of identity would be allowed to sign a statement under oath swearing to their idenity. Anyone found to have signed the oath falsely would be subject to felony punishment.
“We don’t want voting to be difficult, we simply want to maintain the integrity of our system,” Ford, R-Bartlesville and Senate author of the legislation, said earlier this week.
The bill also extends in-person absentee voting. It would allow voters to start voting at 1 p.m. the Wednesday before a general election. Voters now may cast ballots early on the Friday, Saturday and Monday before an election.
The governor said earlier he preferred to see the two subjects, voter identification and increasing the time for early voting, in separate bills.
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- Michael McNutt, Capitol Bureau